Name Jack Thompson
Years active 1968–present
|Full Name John Hadley Payne|
Born 31 August 1940 (age 82) (1940-08-31) Sydney, Australia
Awards Inductee into the Australian Film Walk of Fame 2011Chauvel Award 2006Inside Film Living Legend Award 2005Film Critics Circle of Australia Award For Contribution to Australian Cinema 1998Logie Hall of Fame 1995Raymond Longford Award 1994Australian Film Institute Award Best Actor "Breaker Morant" 1980Cannes Award Best Supporting Actor Breaker Morant 1980Hoyts Prize for Best Performance Sunday Too Far Away 1975
Spouse Beverley Hackett (m. 1963–1968), Leona King
Children Patrick Thompson, Billy Thompson
Books Swimming Upstream: Raja Williams Series
Albums The Bush Poems of A.B. (Banjo) Paterson
Movies The Great Gatsby, Breaker Morant, Australia, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, The Man from Snowy Ri
Similar People Bruce Beresford, Troy Nixey, Ivan Sen, Baz Luhrmann, Michael Cristofer
Jack Thompson, AM (born 31 August 1940) is an Australian actor and one of the major figures of Australian cinema. He was educated at University of Queensland, before embarking on his acting career. In 2002, he was made an honorary member of the Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS). He is best known as a lead actor in several acclaimed Australian films, including such classics as The Club (1980), Sunday Too Far Away (1975), The Man from Snowy River (1982) and Breaker Morant (1980). He won Cannes and AFI acting awards for the latter film. He was the recipient of a Living Legend Award at the 2005 Inside Film Awards.
- Jack thompson on why he became an actor
- Acting career and celebrity
- Personal life
Jack thompson on why he became an actor
Acting career and celebrity
Thompson's career began with the soap opera Motel (1968), and guest appearances on Homicide and Matlock Police. He then took the lead role in spy drama series Spyforce (1971-72), playing the role of Erskine. He eventually moved into feature film lead roles. He has also acted in television miniseries and appeared as the host of the Channel 7 factual series Find My Family.
Thompson was the first nude male centrefold in Cleo magazine in 1972. He has also appeared in television commercials, including as the face of the Bank of Melbourne for a decade, and for Claytons. Thompson is featured in a series of recordings of Australian poetry, reciting poems by Henry Lawson, Banjo Paterson, C. J. Dennis, Patrick Joseph Hartigan (aka John O'Brien) and John O'Grady. (see Discography below). Interviewed in the Sydney Morning Herald he explains his love of poetry, noting that 'Poetry is sometimes seen as too arty and perhaps not a suitable interest for blokes.'
Born John Hadley Pain, Manly, a suburb of Sydney, Thompson was educated at Sydney Boys High School. Thompson was 4 years old when his mother died, leaving his father, a merchant seaman, unable to care for him and his brother, David. He was then sent to an orphanage by his aunt and was subsequently adopted by John and Pat Thompson and changed his surname. The film reviewer Peter Thompson is his adopted brother. He left school at 14, and became a jackaroo in the Northern Territory, as well as taking labouring jobs in New South Wales.
After working in an agricultural lab, Thompson joined the army in 1960 so that he could earn a science degree. He enrolled at the University of Queensland in 1963 and transferred to an arts degree, performing in theatre at night, including the Twelfth Night Theatre and UQ Dramatic Society in Brisbane.
Thompson featured in the first episode of the Australian version of Who Do You Think You Are?, which was televised on 13 January 2008 on SBS, with Thompson discovering that his great-grandfather was Captain Thomas Pain, and his great-great uncle was Alfred Lee, a prominent figure in Sydney society, who donated the journal of Joseph Banks, from Captain Cook's navigation to Australia in the 1770s, to the Mitchell Library in Sydney.
Thompson married Beverley Hackett in 1963 and the five-year marriage produced his son Patrick Thompson. He then entered into a 15-year polyamorous relationship in the 1970s and 1980s with both Leona King and her sister Bunkie. He stayed with Leona following the birth of his second son, Billy.
Thompson used to own Hotel Gearin in Katoomba, Blue Mountains. He sold the hotel in June 2011.
Thompson was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia on 9 June 1986 for his service to the Australian film industry, and served as an UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador.